Heart Transplants at Baptist
Baptist is proud to provide high-quality heart transplants in the Mid-South, helping patients to gain back their quality of life and get better.
In 1985, the first heart transplant was performed in the area. In 1996, the Baptist Heart Transplant Program became the only certified adult heart transplant provider in Memphis after the program became Medicare-certified.
Located on the campus of Baptist Memphis, the Baptist Heart Institute combines all cardiovascular services in one area to support high-quality care, research, education and data management.
The Heart Transplant Journey
Referral: After being referred to the Baptist Heart Transplant Program, patients are carefully evaluated by a multidisciplinary team to ensure that the potential benefits outweigh the risks. Physicians who would like to refer a patient for advanced heart failure therapies or transplantation, please call our direct referral line at 901-226-3712.
Waiting List: The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) matches transplant recipients with available organs based on location, time spent on the waiting list, blood type, body size and severity of illness. When a compatible donor organ becomes available, the transplant coordinator will notify the patient, who will be admitted to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis.
Donor Evaluation & Procurement: All potential heart donors are assessed carefully to help ensure the best quality organ for each recipient. The ultimate decision of whether a heart is suitable for donation is made by the transplant surgeon, who goes to the donor hospital to procure the heart. Back in Memphis, the actual heart transplant procedure typically takes 4 to 8 hours but sometimes longer.
Recovery: After surgery, the patient is cared for in the Baptist Cardio-Pulmonary Transplant Unit (CPTU) at the Baptist Heart Institute. How quickly a patient recovers after heart transplant depends on many factors: age, general health and response to the transplant. Most patients are up and about within a few days after surgery and home in 7 to 16 days.
- Each patient participates in a cardiac rehabilitation program to help in regaining strength and returning to an active lifestyle.
- Heart transplant patients will receive anti-rejection medications, which can lower the strength of the immune system.
- Transplant patients will have increased nutritional needs, particularly requiring additional protein to help build muscle strength.
- Exercise will play an important role in recovery, as well so a Baptist physical therapist will help you develop a sustainable exercise plan to help you keep yourself healthy.
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